Omiyage California Citrus Cake, #SundaySupper


Are you obligated to bring your children, colleagues or your BFF gifts or souvenirs upon your return from a trip? Are you required to bring a present when paying a formal visit to a friend or company? Yes, according to many Japanese. Major train stations, airports and department stores all conveniently cater to this custom by selling omiyage (souvenirs, presents.)

Often the gift is a specialty of a region, such as Kyoto's cinnamon sugar rice cracker. In Tokyo, a bird-shaped pastry is a favorite fast pick up for those passing through the train station. (Even though the Hiyoko bird baker's headquarters are in Kyushu - one of Japan's  southern islands.) 

A Tokyo Station Bestseller: The Hiyoko Omiyage

A thin crust of cake shaped into a bird is molded around delicious white bean paste. This 100-year-old little omiyage became a big seller during the 1964 Olympics and came to be associated with Tokyo.

For today’s citrus themed #SundaySupper and my next visit abroad, I created a California citrus cake omiyage. But I also included Peeps as my American version of the popular Tokyo bird pastry.

The Ninja Baker's California Citrus Omiyage Box

I also arranged a few candied orange slices around my orange cupcakes frosted with the Ninja Baker’s Orange Buttercream. The cupcakes are adapted from the orange cake recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I followed the master chef’s instructions…But I added one cup of dark chocolate bits. Julia would approve. Wouldn’t she?

Dark Chocolate Bits Inside & Atop the Ninja Baker's Orange Buttercream

My recipe for orange buttercream follows. The freshly squeezed orange juice does make a delicious difference in the cake and the frosting.  (So does my garnish of a chopped up dark orange chocolate bar.)

Orange Buttercream
Author: The Ninja Baker, Kim Watkinson


  • 1 cup Earth Balance or similar better for you margarine
  • 1 peel of an orange, grated
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla powder
  • 6 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice

Cream margarine and grated orange peel. Into the bowl sift powdered sugar. One cup at a time. Incorporating well with an electric mixer after each cup. Add the meringue powder, vanilla powder and orange juice. Best to add the juice one tablespoon at a time so you can monitor the consistency of your frosting.

Spread generously onto a cake or cupcakes!


Jen of Juanita’s Cocina is hosting today’s citrus themed #SundaySupper Twitter event. (Tune in at 7 p.m. ET.) Jen’s joie de vivre would make the sourest lemon smile, so this is a party you won’t want to miss. (Type in #SundaySupper in the Twitter search bar.)  Here’s the list she has compiled of the most delightful recipes from the cleverest of the food blogosphere. 

Better with Citrus Breakfasts:

Big On Citrus Breads & Condiments:

Make You Pucker Salads, Sides, & Main Dishes:

Sour Citrusy Sweets & Desserts:

Sour Sips & Drinks:

Wishing you joyful visits abroad and into citrus landsmiley

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.